The wind sifted through the loose grains of sand, creating clouds of dust that hung in the air. The whole place, people and buildings included, was covered in the dirt’s stain.
That was why the traveller caught everyone’s attention. They could tell he was a stranger simply by the fact he was clean. Even his white robes were unmarred, as yet, by the yellow dust.
But the people lost their interest quite quickly as he made his way down the street. They busied themselves, ducked into doorways, or hurried away as he approached. He tried and tried in vain to start a conversation, but not one of them would stop to speak to him.
The children were the only ones who didn’t avoid him. A small group of these had been following along behind. Curiosity animating their dirty, little faces. Finally, the traveller turned around to look at them. Their elders wouldn't hear him, so it seemed that he would have to speak to them if his message was to be shared.
He walked on until he found a quiet corner on a side street and there, to the children’s horror, he sat right down in the dirt and dust. Apparently unaware that he was marring his clean, white garments.
With a welcoming smile, he beckoned for the children to join him and began to tell them a story. The story was about a king. That much they heard though many of the man’s words were lost amidst frequent peals of laughter and bouts of harsh bickering. Generally, children like stories but this story was about a king and these children had little interest in kings. Thus, the longer the stranger talked the more disinterested his listeners became. They left, one by one, to seek out more pleasing entertainment. Until a single child was left sitting before the storyteller.
“Well, my boy.” The traveler said. “I am to tell of him and I have tried.”
“I am Inphath.” The child replied cordially. He had mistaken the comment for an introduction and so rose to his feet with an outstretched hand. “ I am very glad to meet you, Totellovim!”
The man laughed at the child’s mistake but said nothing to correct him. He didn’t mind the name and, not wishing to make his own known, he gladly accepted it.
“Well, Inphath,” he said, “tell me why you stayed to listen when all the others have gone?”
“They do not like to hear of the king. But I…” Inphath lowered his voice and leaned close to Totellovim. “I must learn all I can about him.”
“Oh?” Totellovim asked in surprise. “And what makes you so interested?”
“I,” Inphath whispered, “intend to find Him!”